Tuesday, November 8, 2011
Open flood gates
It used to be that when you looked at my book shelves you would see a bunch of art books and a couple of victorian novels.
Nowadays the old books are still there, but you'll also find new titles like Quiltmaking by Hand, Stitch, and Knit Mittens!
When I see Jonathan Crary's Techniques of the Observer next to Jennifer Chiaverinni's The Lost Quilter my instinct is to cringe in the same way that audiences (were expected) to cringe at the relationship between Eliza Doolittle and Henry Higgins. There's a class distinction involved here, and at the heart of every class struggle... let's face it... lies Prejudice.
Why do I feel this way? Why do I feel shame in admitting I prefer making quilts to sculpture and designing textiles to putting oil on canvas?
When I think about it there shouldn't be a distinction between them. After all, quilts are constructed objects that effortlessly embody history, memory, beauty and decay; qualities many artists strive to achieve in their art work.
So why Prejudice... hmmm? My first instinct is to blame my formal art school training, but on closer thought I think there are other forces at work and I'd like to discuss them further over time on this blog.
I apologize to those who might find this boring, but for me it's an essential question that needs attention before I can get on with things.